Thanksgiving is one week from today, and I don't know about you, but I am not ready! Somehow it sneaks up on me every single year. I think that's a common complaint, though, and it's not a time for complaining. It's a time for gratitude and appreciation.
A spiritual moment
There's a difference between gratitude and appreciation. Discovering that was an Oprah-worthy aha moment for me, and one I often ponder at this time of year. Gratitude is feeling grateful for something, feeling thankful, being glad for having that person, experience, or thing in my life. But appreciation goes deeper. When I appreciate something, I do more than feel thankful for it. I pause in my busy life long enough to bask in it for a moment.
For example, I'm always grateful for the little waterfall my hubby built in a place where I can see it every day. I thank him for it over and over. But when I'm sitting beside it, listening to its musical sounds, watching the sun glint off its sparkling cascade, feeling the cleansing and peace it brings--those are the moments when I'm truly appreciating it. I'm sharing a short video of it here so you can bask a little yourself.
So this time of year, I make lists of things I'm thankful for, and then I try to spend a little time appreciating each of them. Even if I can't be near them, I can close my eyes and imagine them, replaying in my mind everything I adore about them, and truly appreciation them.
I've penned a lot of holiday romances; Halloween and Samhain, Winter Solstice and Christmas. But so far, only one true Thanksgiving Romance exists in my collection, and it is a special one. It's called Shine On Oklahoma, and it's about what I fondly call a "bad girl gone good" tale.
Kendra's con-man father is out of prison and right back in trouble. He's made powerful enemies who say that Unless Kendra can con Dax into accepting an inheritance he never wanted, they'll kill him. The problem is, she's played Dax before. She's never been able to get him off her mind, and he's the only mark she has ever regretted. The notion of hurting him again is tearing her apart and she can't figure out why. But she heads back to Big Falls, her hometown, where her sister has settled down to lead a respectable life with a hometown hero husband whose huge, wholesome family make her gag. Sort of. They want to think the best of her and make her a part of their loving, happy clan. But Kendra knows it's not where she belongs. There's nothing respectable or wholesome about her, and Dax deserves better than the game she's about to run on him. But she's in too deep to turn back now.
Here's the video trailer featuring Stay with Me by Steve Collum, which is a fabulous song, so turn up your volume.
Shine on Oklahoma is part of The McIntyre Men series.
Paperback editions are available wherever books are sold, including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-a-Million. Ask your local bookstore to order it if you don't see it on the shelves.
Ebook editions are available exclusively at Amazon. You can read it free in Kindle Unlimited. Not a member of KU? You can still buy the ebook (or the paperback) at Amazon.